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Creative Economy: Western Living's Development of the Designer of the Year Awards

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Western Living is a regional lifestyle magazine that delivers authoritative information on Western Canadian design, with a focus on the home. In 2007 the new editor-in-chief was given a directive to expand the scope of content and to create an event for the design community. This directive came as the publication began to see an increase demand for multi-platform advertising options. The Designer of the Year (DOTY) Awards presented a practical solution that still fit within the magazine’s editorial mandate. The event was designed to mirror the expansion of editorial content in the main publication, and it reflects the inherent struggle within editorial: remaining true to reader expectations (editorial mandate) while working mainly with advertisers to procure profit. This report first provides an overview of the general functionality of magazine publications. It then examines the editorial effects of the 2007 directive on both Western Living magazine and within Western Canada, and describes how the DOTY Awards became a solution to the directive without compromising the editorial vision.
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